The speaker lineup for a multiday series organized by the controversial Milo Yiannopoulos remains in flux, as one person says he was listed to speak without his knowledge and another has withdrawn.
On Wednesday, Lucian B. Wintrich, a journalist with the Gateway Pundit, said he would not attend the event, at the University of California at Berkeley, despite having initially agreed to do so.
“I have decided to withdraw my name from Berkeley Free Speech Week’s schedule on the seemingly likely chance that something impedes the event and it becomes lost work time on the projects I’m currently engaging in,” Mr. Wintrich wrote.
The organizers of the event, scheduled to take place Sunday through Wednesday, appeared unfazed. A representative of Mr. Yiannopoulos’s camp wrote, “It’s still on, Lucian is an irrelevance. No change to headliners.”
Those headliners include Stephen K. Bannon, a former White House adviser to President Trump, and Ann Coulter, a conservative firebrand who had been scheduled to speak at Berkeley earlier this year.
James Damore, a former Google employee who was fired after writing a memo on gender diversity in the workplace, posted a message on Twitter saying he would not attend the event. He had previously been listed as one of the speakers. “Regarding Berkeley Free Speech Week,” he wrote, “I was put on the list of announced speakers without my knowledge and won’t be speaking at the event.”
When asked for a response to Mr. Damore’s remarks, Mr. Yiannopoulos said, “I don’t blame people for getting spooked by antifa and other left-wing domestic terrorists. A lot of people have agreed to come and then reconsidered. Our headliners are intact, and we look forward to hosting a sensational four-day extravaganza of free expression.”
Mr. Damore joins a club of others — including the academic Charles Murray, whose visit inflamed Middlebury College earlier this year — who say they were listed to speak at the event without their knowledge.
A student group, the Berkeley Patriot, is sponsoring the event, and has provided the university with a list of 17 speakers. Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for Berkeley, said its administration had received evidence that four people would be speaking. He said on Thursday that the institution hadn’t gotten new information on any of the proposed speakers, but that it was planning for them regardless.Return to Top